Phone Scams On The Rise Again

Photo by Jason Allentoff

  TOMS RIVER — Have you received a call from someone claiming to be from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department recently? The Ocean County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents against scam callers on the rise once again, advising all to be wary of callers requesting money.

  A May 8 post from the department stated: “We are letting the public know that there once again is a large increase in phone scams. We urge you not to agree on any solicitations over the phone and report any illegal activity to your local law enforcement. Any concerns can be addressed to our office at 732 929 2044 or 732 349 2010.”

  Not only are these scam callers soliciting money, but they are also claiming to be calling from the Sheriff’s Office.

  “Anyone that receives a phone call from a Lieutenant Alexander, he does not work for our office and do not accept any offers over the phone,” stated the department.

  A similar scam call incident occurred back in January 2019 where the scam callers were requesting residents pay fines for missing jury duty. This scam yielded over $250,000 from victims.

  To avoid becoming a victim of a scam call:

  • Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize.
  • Don’t call back numbers you don’t recognize.
  • Don’t confirm any personal information over the phone.
  • Don’t return calls that claim to be from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, your bank or a local police or sheriff’s department. If you are worried, look up the phone number for the agency. Do not call back a number left on voicemail.
  • Be wary about anyone calling on the phone about any emergency involving a family member or friend. Get a phone number to call back, then verify the whereabouts and safety of the person the call is about.
  • Change your voicemail message to withhold your name or other personal information.